French star Paul Pogba was questioned on Friday, September 15, along with five childhood acquaintances and friends suspected of being involved in a blackmail plot against him in March 2022, sources close to the matter told AFP.
The general interrogation at the Paris Criminal Court is the final stage of the investigation into the break-in that occurred in March 2022 at the home of the Juventus midfielder, one of many misfortunes that also included a temporary suspension this week because of doping.
Two intruders held Pogba, 30, against his will, demanding 13 million euros ($14 million at current exchange rates).
Accounts of the night's events vary between the five men charged with armed extortion and criminal conspiracy and Pogba himself, the World Cup winner. The sixth suspect, Pogba's brother Mathias, did not appear in court on Friday morning.
Investigators believe that for months he pressured Paul to pay the requested amount, which Mathias denies, but he was not there at the time of the March 19-20 break-in.
“The only people who can hurt you are the people close to you,” Paul Pogba told Al Jazeera in a recent interview.
“They are the ones who can destroy you.”
A team of criminals
The investigating judge will also be able to compare the different versions of events given by the suspects in the interrogation transcripts, which the AFP consulted.
It is still unclear who attended the dinner on the evening of March 19, whether Pogba was forced to move to another apartment that night, and whether his phone was confiscated or simply turned off, according to "customary acquaintances" of your group of friends. statement of Roushdane K., one of the main suspects. The method the intruders used to break into Pogba's living room has also not been determined.
Among the five suspects are three of Paul Pogba's childhood friends and two other old acquaintances from their neighborhood.
The police summary of the case consulted by AFP describes them as "a criminal group made up of childhood friends together with an individual with a confirmed criminal record, Roushdane, with the intention of securing 13 million euros from Paul, who cut them off financially at the beginning of the year.”
All five denied participating in individual interrogations.
Roushdane K. insisted he feared for his safety, called himself a victim," and said he was shot because of Pogba's failure to pay.
Pogba's interrogation took place days after the midfielder, once the world's most expensive football player, was temporarily suspended for violating anti-doping regulations.
Italian anti-doping agency NADO said on Monday that its tests showed high testosterone levels.
Since returning to Juventus last July, he has only started one match after suffering a serious knee injury in pre-season.